In December 2020, FNPW received the final report from one of our Bushfire Recovery Grants: Aboriginal Site Recording Yengo NP and Surrounding Country. The project aimed to map 40 sites, however from May through to December the team surveyed more than 67 sites.
The area was severely impacted by the 2019-20 bushﬁres and the grant has allowed many Aboriginal sites in the Yengo NP and surrounding country to be surveyed and photographed. The team surveyed 41 known cave sites (listed AHIMS) with signiﬁcant art – drawings, artefact stencils and hand stencils – photographed and GPS conﬁrmed. In addition, there were 22 engraving sites visited and recorded with some photographed at night, with the team continuing to check on well known sites mainly in the Yengo NP. The survey list also includes many grinding groove sites, water ‘tanks’ and stone arrangements.
Highlights from the survey include unrecorded sites – two caves with signiﬁcant drawings and stencils, several stone arrangements (diﬃcult to specify quantity), engravings (some partial that could be added to known engravings at the same site) and many new grinding groove sites. Some cave sites also contained artefacts such as knapping stone ﬂakes, ochre fragments, animal bones (most likely macropod) and mussel shells.
Below are some of the photos they have taken from the sites that were mapped after the fires.
Most of the sites survived the ﬁres, although there was some damage to at least two caves due to the impact of eroding winds in the ﬁrestorm and trees that burnt into the cave overhangs. On the sandstone platforms, the leaf litter and fallen trees will have an impact as vegetation regrows and possibly cover engraving sites. The team has removed leaf litter on a number of engraving sites to protect the site.